Perfectionism is something that can be seen as a positive trait to a lot of people. Especially if they don’t feel the weight and toxicity of always needing to be perfect. If you feel this sense of dread when thinking about how you always need everything to be perfect then you probably should read this guide on how to painlessly overcome perfectionism.
Perfectionism is a trait that some people really admire.
They think “wow they do everything PERFECTLY I want to be like them”! But they don’t realize how debilitating and how much perfectionism can actually hold you back from taking risk and bettering yourself.
Perfectionism can be very toxic and can hold you back. But you may be wondering what it looks like to have toxic perfectionism.
What does toxic perfectionism look like?
- Feeling like if you can’t “win” then you don’t want to participate.
- You put a lot of weight on measurable successes such as job title, grades, and financial success.
- You can’t delegate tasks out to others (work or personal).
- Criticism makes you very defensive and you take it personal.
- You put things off because the pressure you feel to do them perfectly.
Now that you know what it looks like lets talk about how to overcome this toxic perfectionism.
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Tips For How To Painlessly Overcome Perfectionism:
Tip 1: Acknowledge the perfectionism habits.
If you don’t take the time to acknowledge the habits of perfectionism that you have then you can never work on fixing them.
Sit yourself down and talk through what parts of your life you feel the need to be perfect and what habits you have that feed into your perfectionism.
Make sure to do this somewhere quiet and alone. Grab a notebook and jot down your thoughts. This is essential to overcome perfectionism! You have to know what perfectionism habits you have before you can overcome them.
Tip 2: Work through worst case scenarios.
Chances are if you suffer from toxic perfectionism you tend to picture the worst case scenarios.
Those worst case scenarios can be debilitating and can stop you from working towards things you want. Because what if they don’t work out and the worst case scenario happens?
The only way to get past those thoughts are to work through in your mind what would happen if the worst case scenario were to come true. And chances are those scenarios are manageable and you will be fine.
Once you come to terms with that you can remind yourself of it when your perfectionism is stopping you from trying something new or working towards a dream.
Tip 3: Be patient with yourself.
This is a journey not a destination! You will have set backs and you will feel the perfectionism tendencies all the time. And that is totally okay!
You need to be patient with yourself. Accepting you need to work on your toxic perfectionism is important but you also have to realize it won’t be immediate recovery and you have to be patient with yourself.
Tip 4: Take it one step at a time.
Don’t try to tackle each aspect of your perfectionism at one. Focus on one part at the time.
Make a plan by prioritizing which habits are the most important to tackle to you. Then address one at a time and don’t overwhelm yourself.
You are less likely to succeed if you try to tackle it all at once rather than one at a time.
Tip 5: Learn to handle criticism better.
One of the biggest toxic traits of perfectionism is not being able to handle criticism.
When you suffer from toxic perfectionism you will never be able to take any levels of criticism. Which means you not only can’t grow from the criticism of others. But you also are putting your mental wellness at risk by taking things way too personally.
For a full guide on taking criticism check out: 10 Tips For Taking Criticism Like A Pro.
Tip 6: Think about how it impacts your loved ones.
This tip is essential if the tips above aren’t getting through to you.
Chances are you read to this point because you know that you have toxic perfectionism and you want to change it. But sometimes the motivation to actually do that for yourself can be lacking.
Which is where it becomes important to think of others in your life. And how your inability to handle tough circumstances and your need for everything (and everyone) in your life needs to be perfect and how that impacts the loved ones in your life.
Tip 7: Stop comparing yourself to others highlight reels.
The final tip I have for overcoming perfectionism is to work on one of the root causes- comparing your life to others highlight reels.
What you see or hear about other peoples lives are the parts of their lives that they want you to know about are their highlight reel. You don’t see their struggles and challenges. So comparing yourself to them will only feed into your need to be perfect.
And finally, remember to always work on yourself. You are the only person that can better yourself and help you achieve your dreams!
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